Of Special Interest ...examining a significantly timely topic
December’s Of Special Interest provided a recap of our Asset Allocation team’s view of small cap equities, suggesting that small caps had underperformed and reached a valuation discount that made them an interesting contrarian value proposition. Several clients responded with follow-up questions, wondering if the discount valuation of small caps was offset by their typically weaker business models.
Something remarkable occurred on September 9th. Momentum crashed and Value soared on that Monday, in what one analyst described as a five standard deviation event. Do we have a clear understanding of what really happened? This research project takes a multi-faceted look at what transpired during one unusual week in September.
Investor sentiment seems to be unusually conflicted these days. There are worries aplenty, including numerous political skirmishes of consequence around the world, a slowing global economy, and lofty U.S. equity valuations. On the other hand, fiscal stimulus is high for this stage in an economic cycle and the Fed is easing monetary policy, two policy drivers it rarely pays to bet against.
After a hiatus of several years, we are re-introducing one of our favorite analytical tools. A thematic basket is a custom-designed set of assets which are exposed to, and will react similarly to, a common theme. Our first new thematic basket is “Capital Spending Beneficiaries.”
With an abundance of year-end updates in this edition of Perception for the Professional, we plan to release the content for this “Of Special Interest” section separately in mid-January.
Relative performance of active and passive mutual funds is one of the leading story lines in our industry, with passive’s recent advantage leading some to argue that it will be the dominant style forevermore. We disagree, and believe that the active/passive relationship has been, and always will be, cyclical.